One of the things I love about our current apartment is the small community around us.  We live right off the T and everything is within walking distance, including the local library exactly one block away.

In my “funemployment,” there are some key things I am trying to accomplish.  In addition to getting a job, I want to use my time to volunteer, exercise, and learn new songs on my guitar.  I also wanted to get a library card.

So today, I set out to do just that.

I strode up the steps, threw open the big doors, walked to the front desk, and happily announced “Hi!  I’d like to get a library card, please.”

The man at the desk stared at me.  Stared at me.  Stared at me some more.

And then he laughed.

This was even before he looked at my ridiculous last name, and before he saw that I had brought my lease with me to prove my address (I couldn’t find anything else!).

In the end, he gave me a card, but I don’t really get what was so funny about it.  I guess maybe he doesn’t see many people my age who still get excited about the prospect of a new card and all the possibilities it allows.  Can I really be the only young woman who still cares about a new number and a new collection of books to explore?

I have to admit, the last time I got a card to the local library (across the street from Mount Holyoke) I used the card more often to pry open locked doors than I did to check out books, but that was mostly because it was only open about 16 hours a week and I was in class for the majority of them.

Even as I remain mystified about his stares and laughter, I am excited to have taken one more step to be a part of this community.  Plus, more free books!  Win win win.

Kitchen Adventures: Mexican Style

This week, I decided it was time to dust off my pans and use my shiny new knife to make dinner for me and the roommate.  We both love food, but since we’ve been living together, we tend to eat most of our meals either on the go or in front of the TV (if you saw the number of shows we DVR each week, you would see why this is inevitable.)

When I’m not just googling recipes, my go-to cookbooks are either Rachael Ray’s 365: No Repeats or good old Betty Crocker (opting almost always for the low-fat variations).  But my lovely sister recently treated me to a cookbook from her publishing house and I am now the proud owner of Hungry Girl: 200 Under 200. The real point of this book is to make lots of little meals to eat over the course of a day, but I decided to give it a try for a satisfying and healthy dinner.

My base recipe was HG’s Lean Bean ‘n Cheese Enchiladas.  From here, I made a lot of changes due to personal preference and cooking style, along with supermarket availability.  Here’s what I ended up with:


  • tortillas – something small and healthy in case you want to eat them as a snack later (some of the ones I looked at had 160 calories per tortilla!)
  • one small can enchilada sauce (I chose red)
  • 1/2 cup fat free refried beans
  • a handful of grated low-fat cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • a packet of taco seasoning mix
  • toppings, including sour cream, scallions, salsa, etc Continue reading